A week after dropping out of the national title race, Georgia's SEC championship hopes were essentially vanquished. The Bulldogs fell on the road at Vanderbilt, 31-27, suffering their third loss of the season.
Georgia took a 24-14 lead into halftime, but the Dawgs' defense faltered down the stretch. Vanderbilt scored 17 fourth-quarter points, turning a 13-point deficit into a four-point win. The Commodores held Georgia's offense to a paltry 221 yards and 16 first downs, and the Bulldogs committed three turnovers, including a late fumble that sealed their fate.
Georgia fans may be frustrated with their team, but they seem to be more upset about the controversial new targeting rule. The Dawgs were hit with two targeting penalties against Vandy -- one was overturned -- costing them 30 penalty yards and defensive lineman Ray Drew. After the questionable calls, DavetheDawg at Dawg Sports wants answers.
Will the rules be tweaked in the off-season? For the sake of the game, it better be. But how can the officials in the booth upstairs protect the the officiating crew on Ray Drew's horrible call? Who are these clowns, anyway? This is a real threat to college football, and how defenses are going to play in the future.
Georgia has been decimated by injuries this season, and Team Speed Kills' Brandon Larrabee says the lack of offensive playmakers killed the Dawgs against Vanderbilt. Considering how potent their offense was earlier this year and the output seen against the 'Dores, it's hard to argue.
But Georgia's offense without many of its key players continues to underwhelm. Aaron Murry was 16-of-28 for 114 yards and an interception; there's only so much a quarterback can do when he's essentially playing with the practice squad. The Dawgs' longest play of the day went for 17 yards. The average play went for 3.5 yards. This against a team that has allowed an average of 390 yards a game and 5.6 yards a play. With the skill positions manned almost entirely by backups, the offense that was Georgia's only hope this year is basically in a state of collapse.
At Anchor of Gold, Christian D'Andrea admits Vanderbilt caught some breaks, but he explains that the Commodores took advantage of the opportunities they received.
The Vandy defense came up when this team needed them the most, shutting down a dangerous Georgia team in the second half to allow Patton Robinette, Jonathan Krause, and Jerron Seymour the opportunities they needed to carry the 'Dores to their biggest win under James Franklin. Vanderbilt limited UGA to just 211 total yards and took advantage
Vanderbilt beat Georgia for the first time since 2006. Maybe all the Commodores needed to defeat the Bulldogs was the NCAA's new targeting rules. Vandy benefited from a pair of questionable targeting calls that sustained touchdown drives and ultimately made the difference in the 'Dores win Nashville. However, those calls just set the stage for some superlative performances from a team that had been looking for a spark all season.